Sparks of Life


One thing that never ceases to baffle me is the process of writing. I know, I know... I've been writing for years now, so I should be accustomed to it, right?

Wrong.

I don't think a writer ever gets used to writing. And if they do, it must be a very boring experience.

I'm of the opinion that I want every one of my novels to be different than the first (unless of course, it's a sequel). This is a recently acquired opinion of mine, to be completely honest, but nevertheless, I believe it. I don't want my writing to get stagnant by reusing the same plots. I want the characters to be different, with different dreams, goals, and ideas. And most of the time, I get my wish.

I'm sure all writers feel the same way.

However, my characters have since taken this matter into their own hands. They enjoy torturing me with their unique personalities. Even though I want each story to be different, this story has become a quilt of all my different stories that never went far. All these ideas and characters have formed together into one cohesive story.

Isn't it amazing how one idea can spark something so much more? It's amazing how our characters somehow graduate from being words on a page to being someone real; someone living and breathing. Or, almost alive.

Ironically, I'm writing this during week three of NaNo. I'm 36,000 words in, and admittedly, my characters are seeming rather stagnant. But I have to go back to step one, when my characters were sparks of life. Those sparks will become a flame, fueling my words and my story.

One word of advice for writers: Choose your characters wisely. After all, you'll be spending thousands of words with them, and it's always good when you don't mind them... too much. Sure, you will mind them sometimes. They may even turn into two-dimensional problems. Yes, they will annoy you... but so will writing. It's not for the faint of heart, people.

Tell me about your sparks of life. Do they inspire you, frustrate you, or baffle you? How do they manage to surprise you, even after all this time?

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. My characters start out very real for me, but after a while they start fading from my memory and I can't seem to make them work. That's why so many of my grand projects get left on a shelf to collect dust.

    I love writing, but sometimes it gets on my last nerve. For Nano I'm sort of doing what you've done -- I've gathered elements from all of my abandoned projects and combined them to make a new story. It has really helped me keep going because there is really very little room for writer's block to sneak in.

    Very insightful post! Have a lovely day :)

    ReplyDelete

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